A couple of nights ago I had a flying dream. It was my first one in ages.
I remember the ones I used to have as a kid, I had them all the time. It was so easy back then. I would just run and then, when I wanted to, all of a sudden I would start running up the air, as if I was running up stairs. (Years later when I read Richard Bach’s book Illusions, I understood.) No one could touch me up there. I’d end up on top of the swing set, standing like Peter Pan with my hands on my hips, my chin thrust forward, taunting the world to just try and catch me.
Then, with a laugh, I’d jump off and float slowly to the ground, flipping and twirling like an autumn leaf.
Now days, it’s not so easy to take flight.
Now days I need wings. Big, heavy, clunky, awkward Golden Eagle wings.
Wings so big that I can’t open them in a dark back alley. Wings so bulky and awkward that running with them is nearly impossible.
But also wings so glorious that once I break free of the dark alleys and step out into the bright sun and open space, they spread out behind me and lift me in a single beat, taking me soaring up into the clouds. Wings so strong that they can carry me anywhere in the world, giving me a bird’s eye view of life.
I always loved flying. Whether in dreams or in airplanes. I loved the perspective. Just when the weight of the world begins to close in, just when you feel like your house of cards is going to come crumbling down and crush you beneath it, you rise above it and realize that nothing can touch you, unless you let it.
It’s all so small, all these day-to-day worries that we let become a daily grind. It’s all so fleeting, these moments that feel like life and death. It’s all so trivial.
And yet, it’s also so majestic. Like watching an exquisitely choreographed ballet performed by a top company, or going to Cirque Du Soleil. It takes your breath away to see so many pieces in motion, seemingly unaware of each other, yet miraculously avoiding collision; lifting each other up, catching each other before the fall, helping each other achieve greater heights.
My flying dreams used to be about personal freedom and escape. This one felt like a revelation. It was about the power of perspective, but also about the weight of true vision when it is kept caged and bottled.
If we do not stretch our wings to fly, they have no recourse but to slow us down.
Stop running from your dreams. Stop using your wings as an anchor, holding you back. Walk out to the light and the open air, let them spread wide and shimmer in the sun, and let them lift you up. You never know where they will take you, or what great sights they will show you along the way.